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In the central Amazonian region (Xingu) of Brazil,
the bark and perhaps the seeds of this tree, which can grow as tall as 30 meters and is known locally
as rape dos indios, are made into a snuff that is
purported to have hallucinogenic effects and is
consumed at religious festivals (Schultes and
Raffauf 1990, 318*). This practice has apparently
died out (D. McKenna 1995, 101 *). The powder is
said to stimulate the central nervous system and
cause euphoria and visual hallucinations. Unfortunately,
pharmacological studies of these effects
using human subjects have not yet been conducted
(Carlini and Gagliarid 1970; D. McKenna 1995,
101*). One experiment with rats and guinea pigs
revealed-as is typical-little but amphetaminelike
reactions (Carvalho and Lapa 1990). Earlier
studies demonstrated the presence of coumarins.
Later investigations revealed the presence ofcardiac glycosides as well (Ott 1993,412*).
Carlini, E. A., and R. J. Gagliarid. 1970. Compara<;:ao
das ac5es farmacol6gicas de estratos brutos de
Olmedioperebea calophyllum e Cannabis sativa.
Anais do Academia Brasileira dos Ciencies
Carvalho, Joao Ernesto de, and Antonio Jose Lapa.
1990. Pharmacology of an Indian-snuff obtained
from Amazonian Maquira sclerophylla. Journal ofEthnopharmacology 30:43-54.